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MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM ED. (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Oct 19, 2015 2:11 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: MSI

Overclocking Results


CPU Overclocking


CPUID recently released their latest CPU-Z version that brings some major changes to the much-loved software. One of these changes has made it harder to get a validation at lower stability levels, so it becomes much more troublesome to validate 5.2GHz at 1.5v with every board. While CPU-Z has changed, many motherboards (not this one) don't have LLC. I have to set a higher voltage to compare all these boards at the same voltage. I have decided to reduce the CPU VCore to 1.4v applied (I will measure real VCore at the output capacitors), and see how high I can validate. On most boards its 5.0. I have also decided to add real voltage levels compared to what is set for all motherboards, if they don't have voltage read points I will mark where I got the readings from.




The Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION is doing 5.0GHz just like other high-end boards.





I test stability at 4.8GHz CPU, 4.0GHz Uncore, and 2666MHz on the memory with 1.4v on the VCore.


I am using HandBrake to transcode a 2GB video, and it is very telling since it pulls all cores to the maximum frequency and load. Handbrake is good for a quick stability check, plus I get a log of the encoding speed and the number of errors. It is very easy for the queue not to finish all the way and just error out, and 1-3 hours of AIDA is about equal to this HandBrake test, so I am replacing it. The reason the CPU frequency and Uncore are so low is because EIST drops the CPU frequency at idle points, but you can see HWiNFO's CPU frequency and temperature maximums that the CPU runs at full speed when loaded.




Addition to the voltage read points on the upper right-hand corner of the motherboard (pictured earlier), MSI provides these smaller read points for voltages that pertain more to LN2 overclocking. On the right are my manual readings for the VCore using LLC. If you set a higher VCore the raise during load at 100% will be less, making is very effective for extreme air/LN2 overclocking. MSI also has an extreme OC guide for this motherboard located here: here.


Memory Overclocking


I have decided to expand the overclocking tests to the following:


Test 1: 4x8GB (32GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 2666MHz C16




The motherboard runs four sticks each at 8GB at 2,666MHz XMP, which means it can handle two individual kits and apply the same XMP across both.


Test 2: 4x4GB (16GB) Corsair Dominator Platinum 3200MHz C16




This kit meant for X99 works just fine on the board, which is expected for a Z170 overclocking motherboard.


Test 3:2x4GB (8GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V 3600MHz C17




This kit doesn't work on all motherboards; usually only overclocking models can even boot this kit by just enabling XMP. The Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION runs this kit with ease, which is a great sign for memory overclocking.

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